Thursday, June 20, 2013

Your Right-Hand Man

Buckner Fanning tells the story of going to Russia during the 1980's and being invited to preach and teach at several places. After one of those speaking engagements, he was invited to the home of one of the church members, a farmer, and after sharing a meal, was given a tour of the massive farm.  It was obvious this was a farm that had received proper management, tremendous labor, and years of successful production. 

Buckner then inserted in his story that this particular farmer had been involved in an accident while working on the farm and had lost an arm. There were sad times during his recovery and the farmer had considered himself useless to run the farm and provide for his family, since he now had only one arm. The family also had other issues and problems they were having to deal with, so while still in the hospital recovering, the farmer decided he didn't want to be a burden to those who would have to take care of him.  He attempted to open a window in the hospital  and was prepared to jump to his death. The only problem was, he didn't have the strength to raise the window with his one remaining arm. He was angry and prayed for God to let him die. 

I know there were church members and neighbors that chipped in to see that the man's farm work was done. No doubt the love of those around him supported him and tried to help him keep a positive attitude.  It was when he was at his lowest and still wishing for death, God's message came to him and spoke softly to this bewildered heart. God said, "Put your trust in me, have faith in me, and I will be your right arm."

It was much later, after the farmer had fully recovered and was allowed to return home and gradually return to work, he realized his farm was running more efficiently and successfully than ever before. He confessed, "I can accomplish more with one arm now, than I ever could with two, because God kept his promise and has been my right arm."

There are two verses shared in Buckner's story of the farmer, and I want to make sure you read them both.  Isaiah 41:10, "So do not fear, for I am with you;  do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Psalm 139:7-10  "Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me,  your right hand will hold me fast."

The lesson here for you and for me is that no matter what life delivers to us, we are safe and protected and promised victory as long as God is our "right-hand man."

(The story is from "God Drives a Pickup Truck" 1999, by Buckner Fanning)


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